5 Main causes of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
The accumulation of plaque in the arteries that provide oxygen-rich blood to your heart is known as coronary artery disease. A constriction or blockage caused by plaque can lead to a heart attack. Symptoms include chest pain or discomfort and shortness of breath. Treatments include lifestyle changes and medications that target your risk factors and/or possibly surgery.
♥ What exactly is coronary artery disease (CAD)?
- Coronary artery disease is a narrowing or blockage of your coronary arteries caused by plaque buildup. Coronary heart disease, ischemic heart disease, and heart disease are all terms used to describe coronary artery disease.
♥ What happened to the coronary arteries? What exactly do they do?
- Coronary arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle, allowing it to continue to beat. The coronary arteries run parallel to the heart muscle. There are four major coronary arteries in your body:
- The coronary artery to the right.
- The coronary artery on the left.
- The artery of the left anterior descent.
- The artery of the left circumflex.
♥ In coronary artery disease, what happens to the arteries?
- Atherosclerosis is the cause of coronary artery disease. Plaque builds up inside your arteries, causing atherosclerosis. Cholesterol, fatty compounds, waste materials, calcium, and the clotting ingredient fibrin make up plaque. As plaque builds up on the insides of your arteries, they constrict and harden. Plaque can clog or damage your arteries, causing blood flow to your heart muscle to be restricted or stopped. Your heart can’t obtain the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function correctly if it doesn’t get enough blood. This is referred to as ischemia. Chest discomfort or pain might result from a lack of blood supply to your heart muscle (called angina). It also increases your chances of having a heart attack.
♥ What causes plaque to form in the arteries?
- Everyone is susceptible to coronary artery disease. It develops at a different rate for each individual. When you’re young, the process normally begins. The blood vessel walls begin to develop fat streaks before your teen years. As plaque builds up in the inner walls of your arteries, your body responds by sending white blood cells to attack the cholesterol, but the attack produces further inflammation. Other cells in the arterial wall respond by forming a soft cover over the plaque.
- The plaque’s tiny crown is prone to breaking (due to blood pressure or other causes). Platelets, which are blood cell fragments, adhere to the location of “the injury,” forming a clot.
♥ Who is susceptible to coronary artery disease?
- You’re more likely to get coronary artery disease if you:
- Have a high level of cholesterol (particularly high LDL “bad” cholesterol and low HDL “good” cholesterol).
- Have a high blood pressure condition.
- Heart disease runs in the family.
- I’m diabetic.
- You smoke cigarettes.
- Are you a post-menopausal lady or a male over 45 years old?
- Are you obese?
- Are physically sedentary.
♥ What are the signs and symptoms of heart disease?
- Because you may not have symptoms at first, you may not realize you have coronary artery disease. Plaque builds up in your arteries over time, from years to decades. However, when your arteries constrict, you may have moderate symptoms, indicating that your heart is working harder to transport oxygen-rich blood to your body.
- The most common symptoms are chest pain or shortness of breath, which occur most frequently after light physical activity, such as walking upstairs but can also occur at rest.
- You may not realize you have coronary artery disease until you experience a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms include:
- Heaviness, tightness, pressure, hurting, burning, numbness, fullness, squeezing, or a dull ache are all symptoms of angina. The pain may expand to or be limited to your left shoulder, arms, neck, back, or jaw.
- I’m exhausted.
♥ If I have symptoms of coronary artery disease, what should I do?
- Because the symptoms of coronary artery disease might mimic those of a heart attack, you should seek medical assistance right away. If you think you’re experiencing a heart attack, dial 911 immediately.
- A stroke can occur if a blood clot in a coronary artery breaks loose and travels to your brain, however, this is uncommon. A stroke can cause the following symptoms:
- One half of your face is drooping. Examine your smile in the mirror or have someone else do it.
- Arm numbness or weakness.
- Slurred speech/difficulty speaking
- Call your doctor if you encounter any of these symptoms.
♥ Changes in lifestyle
- Reduce your risk factors as the first step in treating coronary artery disease. This entails making lifestyle adjustments.
- Avoid smoking. Quit smoking or using tobacco products. Inquire with your healthcare practitioner about options for quitting, such as programs and drugs.
- High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes can all be managed.
- Maintain a nutritious diet. Discuss methods to improve your diet to lower your risk of heart disease with your healthcare physician or a trained dietitian. The Mediterranean and DASH diets are both good choices.
- Limit your alcohol consumption. Women should limit themselves to one drink each day and men to two drinks per day.
♥ What are the complications of coronary artery disease?
Coronary artery disease can lead to the following other heart conditions: